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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Work In Progress: Crying at Starbucks
Possible second stanza

I don't mean to be callous;
Surely all of us have wanted to cry,
For some large or small reason,
In an inappropriate place. I know I have.
Sometimes I see children who remind
Me of my own, now grown, and the
Sweet recollection of long-gone babies
Wrings my heart. I must turn away.
I think: perhaps some new grief swept
Over her; perhaps during an escape
To the shopping center, reality prevailed,
And she was overcome. Who knows?
I just thought, as I finished my scone
And sipped the latte, dry-eyed,
It really is sad that one should have to sit
At Starbucks and cry
On Saturday morning.

Work In Progress: Field in August

It wasn't looking good this morning,
My field. No light filled it; low clouds
Nipped at the horizon. It's filled with
Corn now, these six acres or so,
Rimmed with brush and small trees,
Open face to the east, so it catches
Every morning's light. Except today.
Most mornings this summer have been sunny,
And there's the problem. Too much sun,
Not enough rain. May was quite unpleasant
For spring — grey, too rainy, cool, and seemed
To make the winter linger forever.
Crops went in late, including this little field.
But June brought a sea change; clouds
Became scarce, the sun prevailed; it's been hot.
And the corn this morning showed the effects
Of this extremity. The stalks are short;
They're more yellow than green; they're tasselled,
But the leaves point up more than they should,
A sure sign of distress. The ears, though I can't
See them as I drive by, are surely too thin,
The kernals small and white. The field
Looks mottled; the showers we've had
Have been spotty, and the field shows it.
It's spotty itself!
Some spots are higher than others;
Some greener. None good.
I don't imagine the yield from this little field
Will break any records this year.
I don't know who farms it; I didn't
See who planted it, and it might not be worth the effort
To harvest, though great effort has been made
To make this field produce: the tilling, the planting,
The fertilizing, the weed and insect control
With those big tractors
That look like spiders on wheels.
All, now, for naught.
I think any rain
We get this dark day is too late.
It's not really my field, as I called it in the beginning.
I will not suffer from its low yield, as will its farmer.
For tomorrow it may be filled again with light,
And will lift my heart as I drive by;
I wonder, can anyone, really, own a field?
For I've found this summer, that no one on earth
Can control it. Only damn it--or enjoy it.

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